The past few months, I have tested AWeber, ListWire, and phpList for my mailing list services. Now, I’m ready to document why I made the switch.
phpList Mailing List Software
phpList is a free, open source mailing list software you install on your own server. ( see phpList postings for more info) phpList is great for tech savvy users and has the advantage that you are in full control. You can import users and not have to force them to confirm their subscription, which is great if they confirmed elsewhere. Unfortunately, phpList is missing an important feature for Internet Marketers, auto-responders. You can’t set up a series of email to be sent to each new subscriber. phpList is also missing support and isn’t seeing much new development.
I used phpList as my mail list server for a year, but decided because of the lack of auto-responders and new development, I need to look at other mail-list services.
As part of a training class I was doing this spring, I subscribed to AWeber’s mailing list service. Aweber is very easy to use, well supported and has the auto-responder feature. AWeber integrates into WordPress very well with their subscription forms plugin. AWeber has extensive training that follows you thought the process of setting up your subscribers and mailings. However, importing is difficult with Aweber. To import a list you have to submit the list, give a explanation of where you got the list, wait for a Aweber employee to review the list and then go through the confirmation process. Aweber also costs money, $20 a month.
Another mail list service I tried this spring is ListWire. ListWire is a full featured mailing list service with subscription forms, WordPress integration and auto-responders. ListWire training is thin, but has a strong user community that provides good support. (including a great user manual and new video training). ListWire does not support subscription list imports. You need to send your old mail list a subscription request email from your normal email account. But the major plus, ListWire is free. The downside to free, is that your subscriber will see a “offer” from the site a the end the confirmation process.
So after testing these mail list services, I have decided to go with ListWire. I don’t have a large mailing list and mailing list are not a large part on my Internet Marketing strategy, so free is better and I don’t mind the presentation of a offer during the confirmation process.
However, if mailing lists are an important piece of your strategy and having a very positive online image is important, I would suggest going with AWeber.
As for phpList? Only if you love to tinker and don’t need a auto-responder feature.